The Independent Feature Project unveiled plans for its 28th annual IFP Market, which will take place post-Toronto International Film Festival, running from September 17 – 21 in New York City. This year’s lineup includes 186 projects and is focused on connecting projects still in development with financing and sales opportunities. During this principally meetings-driven event, IFP pre-schedules (at the request of potential buyers) one-on-one meetings with reps from their projects of interest.
Producers with partially financed narrative scripts or non-fiction works-in-progress take pitch meetings with equity financiers, sales agents and distributors. Writer/directors with scripts seeking producers are provided with one-on-one meetings to open up the potential for involvement and/or future writing assignments. In 2005, over 1,600 meetings were scheduled in total. At present, 11% more meetings have already been scheduled for this year’s event. In addition to the meetings, there are a limited number of projects that are screened in either the Spotlight on Documentaries section (as completed features, shorts or works-in-progress) or as short-form dramatic films. Screenings will take place Monday, September 18 – Thursday, September 21 at the Angelika Film Center, giving festival programmers and acquisition executives a chance to view the projects in a theatre setting.
IFP Market projects are accepted into one of each of the following categories: Emerging Narrative (focusing on writers and writer/directors seeking producers), No Borders International Co-Production Market (for producers with more developed packages that include some financing and cast attachments) and Spotlight on Documentaries (developed for buyers to navigate the year’s documentary projects still at the financing through rough cut stage). 1,235 projects were submitted in 2006 for consideration, and 15% were accepted. Among this year’s No Borders selections from the U.S. are a new project by writer-director David Gordon Green (“George Washington“) and the first feature-length directorial effort by actress Faye Dunaway.
IFP also announced that it has signed on two new international partners for its co-production market, No Borders. The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa and the Asian Film Market/Pusan Promotional Plan (PPP) in South Korea have joined the existing nine partners on No Borders. International organizations partnering with IFP of No Borders include established funding bodies (Telefilm Canada, UK Film Council, Germany’s Filmstiftung NRW, Australia’s Film Victoria and NSW Film and Television Office, and the New Zealand Film Commission) and support organizations (Ateliers du Cinema Europeen/ACE, CineMart). The Sundance Institute is the sole U.S. partner on No Borders.
As the project market of the Pusan International Film Festival and the Asian Film Market, the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) has formerly specialized in Asian Cinema, however, for 2006 for the first time, it will include non-Asian projects. IFP Market/ No Borders is the sole and exclusive US global partner of PPP and will present a 2005 No Borders project in this year’s Pusan. Beginning in 2007, the Pusan Promotion Plan will have two of its projects participate in No Borders.
Companies taking part in this year’s market include Reason Pictures, Silverwood Films, Trigger Street Independent, ESPN Original Programming, The Fledgling Fund, MSNBC and Netflix from the U.S., while non-U.S. organizations include Beyond Films, The Match Factory, Mikado Film, Prime Entertainment, The Works International and FCC Australia.
“The IFP Market has increasingly become an efficient gateway for the international community to source the best U.S. projects seeking financing each year,” commented Michelle Byrd, executive director, IFP in a statement. “Additionally, it provides a useful platform for our international partners to introduce their filmmakers to the U.S. industry.”
Emerging Narrative Screenplay Highlights
(listings and descriptions provided by IFP)
[Emerging Narrative is comprised of 12 short films and 40 screenplays.]
“Pansy”, Sean Patrick McCarthy: A gripping story based on a true event of a troubled teen. When a fifteen year-old boy’s relationship with an older man is exposed, the humiliation leads to tragic consequences.
“Chicle”, Josh Hyde: A convincing and intelligently conceived story about the collision of two cultures: A gum-selling Peruvian street kid encounters an American tourist girl. The story focuses not only on the impact of events on their lives, but reaches deeper to portray issues of economic and cultural integration and globalization.
“A Story for Old Lovers”, Ela Their: When a callous and depressed Vietnam War veteran finds his wife of forty years packing to leave, he convinces her to spend one last day together. The story spans over a single day in which, despite years of resentments, numbness, and pain, the two get to know each other, perhaps for the first time. “Before Sunrise” meets “The Deer Hunter.”
No Borders International Co Production Market Highlights
(listings and descriptions provided by IFP)
[No Borders is comprised of 40 projects, out of which 47% are International projects.]
“Busted Down on Bourbon Street”; Mike Ramsdale, D: David Gordon Green (“George Washington”); Producer: Marisa Polvino (“The Door in the Floor”); Budget: 10.5M; Two cowboys boondoggle south-by-southwest for the goods, the girl, and a little godliness before their past, the police or a pusher named Gypsy Red hangs ’em from the highest tree.
“James Dean and Me”; Sameh Zoabi, Producer: Amir Harel (“Paradise Now”); Partner: Sundance Institute; Budget: 2.5M; An Arab boy growing up in Israel in 1967 models himself after James Dean.
“Beach Party”; Rowan Joffe, D: Sheree Folkson; Producer: Tracy Brimm (“Far From Heaven”); Country/Partner: UK/UK Film Council; Budget: 3.7M; A romantic comedy about a single mother struggling to keep herself and her family together when life is just so bloody complicated.
“Cheap Lives”; Sir Antony Sher, Producer: Thierry Cassuto, Simon Bosanquet (“The Life and Death of Peter Sellers”); Country/Partner: South Africa/ National Film and Video Foundation; Budget: 5.7M; For a remorseless serial killer sitting in South Africa’s infamous death row, the twilight of Apartheid may bring unexpected forgiveness – or the ultimate revenge.
“Lemond Tree”; Eran Riklis, Suha Arraf; D: Eran Riklis (“The Syrian Bride); Producer: Eran Riklis, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnere; Country/Partner: Israel/Cinemart; Budget: 3.2M;
A Palestinian widow goes to war against her neighbor, the Israeli Defense Minister, who wants to uproot her lemon grove as the security forces fear terrorists will hide among the trees.
Spotlight on Documentaries Highlights
(listing and information courtesy of IFP)
(95 projects, includes works-in-progress, completed features and shorts. 69% are works-in-progress.)
Works in Progress:
“To Be Heard”, Deborah Shaffer, Roland Legiardi-Laura; Academy Award winner Deborah Shaffer (“Witness to War”) follows a unique classroom in the Bronx in which at-risk inner city kids pour their hearts into poetry journals under the mentorship of three extraordinary teachers. With “literacy taught as a weapon” it is a passionate story of commitment, struggle, failure and triumph.
“War’s Weight in Gold”, Darius Marder: A Mormon used car salesman and adventure-seeking treasure hunter assists two blind WWII veterans hunt for the treasure each looted and hid 60 years earlier in Europe and the Philippines before their post-war return to civilian life. A unique American story from debut feature director Darius Marder.
“Waiting for Hockney”, Julie Checkoway: After ten years of laboring in a cold and lonely room on a single piece of 14 X 17-inch drawing paper, Billy Pappas emerges with his masterpiece. He believes it’s worth millions. He’s nearly forty, unmarried, childless, and in debt to his benefactor to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars. The film follows Billy and his hand-picked crew of supporters and long-suffering parents who strive to get him to the one man who, in one afternoon, just might change Billy’s life forever: only David Hockney can decide whether Billy has foolishly squandered his youth or succeeded in creating a new and unprecedented standard in art. Audio documentary producer and Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer Julie Checkoway makes her feature directing debut with this observational documentary.
“Secrecy”, Robb Moss, Peter Galison: Robb Moss’ (“The Same River Twice,” IFP Market 2002) new documentary explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy, by focusing on “classified secrets,” the government’s ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security.
“When Adnan Comes Home”, Andrew Berends: Director Andrew Berends’ follow-up to “The Blood of My Brother” charts the recent course of 16-year-old Adnan Ghazi’s life, ruined by a tragic sequence of events that landed him in Iraq’s criminal justice system under foreign occupation.
“The Team”, James Marsh, Basia Winograd: Co-directed by James Marsh (“The King”) and Basia Winograd; The Team chronicles the efforts of a homeless agency in New York to recruit and train a soccer team of homeless people to compete in the inaugural homeless world soccer championships in Graz, Austria.